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Living into the Life of Jesus: The Formation of Christian Character Paperback – February 8, 2012


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: IVP Books (February 8, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0830838112
  • ISBN-13: 978-0830838110
  • Product Dimensions: 8.9 x 6 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #422,950 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"As a pastor I am constantly seeking relevant and insightful books which stimulate not only my own personal growth but also provide an effective tool to help my church members develop the image of Christ in their lives. My criterion for such books is that they be biblically grounded with relevant application. Living into the Life of Jesus is one book that accomplishes that goal for me. Issler offers fresh and deep insights to familiar passages of Scripture. But this is not just an academic exercise. It will challenge your mind and also lead your heart into the practice of spiritual formation that is Christ-centered and empowered by the Spirit of God. This is an essential text for any pastor that seeks to form the character of Christ in his own life and the life of his church." (David J. Mitchell, senior pastor, Calvary Church of Santa Ana)

"The desire to become more Christlike sometimes gets translated into a list of dos and don'ts which, quite frankly, can be more burdensome than joyful. In contrast, Klaus Issler draws from the teachings of Jesus to provide a fresh perspective on achieving genuine character change. Of particular interest to me is his emphasis on the redemptive potential of marketplace activity and personal wealth. With its generous use of 'prayer projects' and review questions, I believe this book has strong potential for use in classrooms and Bible studies." (Steve Rundle, professor of international business, Biola University, and coauthor of Great Commission Companies)

"Our life and relationships in Christ simply work right when we live them out from the heart. Issler's scholarship and warmth show us how clearly and deeply Jesus' teachings lead us along that path." (John Townsend, author of the bestselling Boundaries)

"This book is about learning to live like Jesus: to become more like him, to understand what it means to incorporate his way into our way, to know the heart and mind of Christ. Klaus Issler provides us a fresh and thoughtful perspective of what we can learn and apply from the life of Jesus." (Bill Pollard, chairman and CEO emeritus, The ServiceMaster Company)

"If you want to be changed by following the way of Jesus, immerse yourself in these penetrating, well-thought-out observations of Jesus' life alongside practical guidance for living into that life yourself." (Jan Johnson, author of Abundant Simplicity and Invitation to the Jesus Life)

"The more Christian books I read, the more disappointed I become. As well-intended as many of these authors are, too often their final product ends up selling out to the cultural norm of shallow anecdotal responses, overly simplistic solutions, little to no rigorously applied thought processes and mediocre integration of Scripture to their subject matter. Klaus Issler's book is about as opposite of the abovementioned deficiencies as I have read in a very long time. Living into the Life of Jesus was such a pleasure to read; I felt the author and I were having an ongoing discussion versus being preached to in 'black and white.' Throughout the book, Issler shares his struggles, his victories, but most importantly, his personal mistakes. In doing so, Klaus has written a book that I plan on sharing with many of my clients so they may understand, appreciate and be better equipped to meet the challenge of Ephesians 4:13 '[to attain] the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.'" (Raymond P. Gleason, business executives coach, Building Champions)

"Klaus Issler has identified the key to authentic Christian living: It is a matter of both the heart and discipline. Get ready to drink from a fire hose emanating from the well of truth, the Bible. This book will put you to work and on the road to a deeper relationship with the Lord. The work is worth the investment. Issler combines theology, Scripture, real-life experience and assignments, all designed to sharpen your understanding and Christian walk." (Ken Eldred, businessman/philanthropist, author of The Integrated Life)

"The formation of good character is the standing human problem, generation to generation, and it is the arena of perpetual human failure throughout history, up to today. The formation of Christian character in companionship with Christ is the verifiable solution to the standing problem and the constant failure. For many decades, Christian sources have not done well with character formation, if they have addressed it at all. Klaus Issler has carefully worked his way through the details of how Christian character formation reliably proceeds. He knows from personal experience and scholarly research how it works. He guides you in the path and enables you to extend what you have gained to others in desperate need around you. Living into the Life of Jesus is a vital resource for any individual or group looking for ways to realize the powerful outcomes of spiritual transformation manifestly presented in the pages of the New Testament." (Dallas Willard, author of The Divine Conspiracy and The Spirit of the Disciplines)

"Living into the Life of Jesus gently points us toward recognizing the gaps in our spiritual formation plan and gives us fresh tools to dive deep into the love letters of God in the Bible. Issler takes on the oft-forgotten practices of peacemaking and forgiveness, showing us practical ways to flourish in deep, real relationships designed for a lifetime instead of just a season. He also tackles the tough topics of money, the marketplace and generosity. Your walk with Jesus will be refreshed and the practices of your faith will be renewed and strengthened as you live into the life of Jesus." (Greg Leith, director, Strategic Alliances, Biola University, Board of Directors, Convene CEO Forum and The Barnabas Group)

"Living into the Life of Jesus is a breath of fresh air whose uniqueness lies in two directions: its central focus is on Jesus and the Gospels, and it includes a seminal chapter on finances and the spiritual life. Issler provides the reader with new insight after new insight. But he is no mere theorist, and the reader will walk away with numerous, specific suggestions as to how to live more like Jesus. I highly recommend this wonderful book." (J. P. Moreland, Talbot School of Theology, Biola University, author of The Kingdom Triangle)

About the Author

Klaus Issler (Ph.D., Michigan State) is professor of Christian education and theology in the Ph.D. program in educational studies at Talbot School of Theology, Biola University, in La Mirada, California.

Calvin Miller (1936-2012) was a professor at Beeson Divinity School. The beloved author of more than forty books, Miller was also well known as a poet, artist, novelist and speaker. His later works included Preaching (Baker), O Shepherd Where Art Thou? (Broadman & Holman) and Conversations with Jesus (Harvest House). He summed up his rule of life in four words: "Time is a gift."

More About the Author

Dr. Issler holds degrees in education, theology, and philosophy, and specializes in Christian spirituality, Jesus the master teacher, formation of Christian character, and the philosophy and theology of Christian education. He teaches primarily in the Ph.D. in Educational Studies program. Dr. Issler co-authored In Search of a Confident Faith: Overcoming Barriers to Trusting in God, co-edited Jesus in Trinitarian Perspective: an Introductory Christology, authored Wasting Time with God: A Christian Spirituality of Friendship with God, and co-authored Teaching for Reconciliation: Foundations and Practice of Christian Educational Ministry and How We Learn: A Christian Teacher's Guide to Educational Psychology. He has contributed to Baker Dictionary of Christian Education and Christian Education in the New Millennium. Dr. Issler has been an associate pastor, an instructor for Walk Thru the Bible, and a board member with BEE International.

For more info, visit www.klausissler.com

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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By carol_a on March 15, 2012
Format: Paperback
Anyone can say they want to change something in their attitude or behavior. That is easy. Making those desires become reality in life is the hard part. In this book, Klaus Issler leads us along the path that is needful if a desire for change or growth is to really happen. By looking deep into our hearts to come to terms with our true motivations and seeing where we have "gaps" and blind spots in our thinking and formation practices, Klaus shows us in a very practical way how to be intentional (and successful!) in making change. He presents a mindset that directs us toward seeking the help and grace of Christ to address our hearts first--and then shows how changes in our behavior will inevitably follow these changes in our heart. He describes the channels God has given us to help us, through His grace, to make these intended changes--His Word, His Spirit and how others in our life are critical to help us persevere with the process and to provide us with a helpful mirror. I found this book wonderfully provoking to "get real about it" if I think I want to change something. I was also helped by the real-life examples and abundance of scriptural references that were included to help inspire and teach. This is a rich book on a deep topic. It is not a band-aid to help one cover half-hearted efforts at change, but has powerful potential to help one make true and lasting changes in one's life!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Harold Cameron on December 10, 2012
Format: Paperback
"Why does merely understanding and trying hard to follow the example of Jesus often yield little progress--and even less joy and peace?
In this foundational work of Christian formation, Klaus Issler derives insights from the life of Jesus in the Gospels to uncover the dynamics of becoming Christlike. You will discover how you can forge much deeper connections with Jesus so that his life begins to permeate your own character." (From the IVP Website)

An Outline of the Contents of the Book
Part One: A Process for Christian Character Formation
1. Form Your Heart, Not Just Your Behavior
2. Wake up to Five Formation Gaps
3. Adapt Formation Practices for your journey

Part Two: Essential Divine Resources of Formation Grace
4. Love: Divine Relational Support in Jesus' Life and Ours
5. Holy Spirit: Divine Mentoring in Jesus' Life and Ours
6. Scripture: Divine Revelation of Reality and a "Jesus" Lifestyle

Part Three: Following Jesus in Our Gaps
7. Three Exemplary Jesus Practices About Relationships
8. Three Exemplary Jesus Practices About Money and Work

Acknowledgements

Name and Subject Index

Scripture Index

About the Author: Klaus Issler (Ph.D., Michigan State) is professor of Christian education and theology in the Ph.D. program in educational studies at Talbot School of Theology, Biola University, in La Mirada, California. (InterVarsity Press).

My Thoughts About the Book: Living into the Life of Jesus is not a book for the spiritually fainthearted or weak, (unless you are looking to grow healthier and stronger in your faith as a Christ follower) for author Dr. Klaus Issler delivers a challenging message of what it really means to live a Christlike life.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Christy on April 16, 2012
Format: Paperback
Issler is a reliable trail guide for the confusion that often exists between life and beliefs. Christian growth is a complex topic that often gets simplified in discussions and publications. Klaus Issler's multi-faceted approach to spiritual formation points out conceptual observations about the divine-human relationship that lead to practical implications for inner life growth. Living into the Life of Jesus creates biblical categories to develop one's relational awareness of abiding in Christ, so that life transformation is the natural outworking of paradigm shifts in one's true belief system. Most valuable is his soul hospitality in letting the reader see how he has become aware of formation gaps in his own life. This is a great read if you want to be confronted with deep thinking that produces relational awareness of your on-going need for a Savior.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Anh-khoa Nguyen on May 15, 2012
Format: Paperback
The heart of the matter concerning living an authentic Christian life, one that is devoid of duplicity of any form, Issler says, is the matter of the heart. In Living into the Life of Jesus, Dr. Issler invites the reader to take a walk in the trails of Gospels, and in the empowering company of the Holy Spirit, down to the bottom of one's own heart. The fresh insights he provides in the book are at once descriptive and prescriptive of the very spiritual instructions and practices that Jesus Himself passed on to all who desire to live out every aspect of their life like Jesus did. The book is most suitable for personal and small groups study, and will be an enriching supplementary primer for a course on the Life of Christ.

Samuel Twumasi-Ankrah
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Authentic living with purpose. This is not a "doing" book but develops the "being" that we long for that satisfies. Well worth the read and putting it into practiced living. I must read.
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